Packing 101: 10 Weeks, 1 Backpack

You know those kind of people who only carry a teeny-tiny-itty-bitty bag for an extensive trip? Yeah, well I am not one of those people. Over-packer should have been my middle name. No matter how hard I try, I always seem to overpack. Most of the time I don’t even know why I pack “real” clothes, since I find myself living in yoga pants on vacation. Please tell me I’m not the only one with the yoga-pant obsession…

Now that we’re one day away from our big backpacking trip, the clock seems to be ticking faster than ever. Enough of this procrastination. It’s time to get serious and get this packing over with once and for all.

After doing my own research on what to pack — and what not to pack — for a backpacking trip, I took some time to lay everything out. As so many bloggers advised, I pulled together everything I thought I might need, and then basically started cutting the clutter. I found this packing guide extremely helpful, along with this one.

I tried my best to find the perfect balance between dressing comfy while still looking semi fashionable. Thanks to Asos and TJ Maxx, I was able to find some super cute basics on a rather small budget. Since I knew I’d be wearing clothes over and over (and over!), and probably be sick of them by the time we returned, I didn’t want to spend too much on my wardrobe for this trip. I stuck with mostly neutral colors so I could easily mix and match. I found this was key to maximizing the small space.

After too many attempts of packing, unpacking, and packing again, I think I finally found the right formula to getting that zipper closed, while still having a tad bit of room for small souvenirs. Insert the “hallelujah” emoji here ____!

What’s In My Backpack: Clothes

  • 5 dresses
  • 4 tank-tops
  • 2 long-sleeve shirts
  • 2 light sweatshirts
  • 1 cardigan
  • 2 pair of shorts
  • 1 maxiskirt
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of yoga pants / 1 pair of running shorts
  • 2 running tops
  • 3 pair of shoes (tennis shoes, toms, birkenstocks)
  • 1 lightweight, waterproof jacket
  • 1 bathing suit

The good thing about staying in so many Airbnbs is that most of them have washers! While I hope I packed everything I’ll need, I’m trying not to stress about it too much since I can always buy whatever I might have forgotten overseas. As one of my friends emphasized, “There will most likely be an H&M around the nearest corner!”


What’s In My Backpack: Cosmetics / Toiletries

Luckily, I have a pretty low-key routine when it comes to makeup. A little bit of foundation, a dash of blush, mascara, and then a classic red lip. Done.

The harder part was making sure I had all the other needed toiletries.

  • contact lenses / case / solution
  • backup pair of glasses
  • deodorant
  • razor
  • toothbrush / toothpaste
  • small bottle of shampoo / body wash
  • sunscreen
  • chapstick


What’s In My Backpack: Travel Accessories

  • travel documents (passport, plane / train tickets, money, insurance cards, etc.)
  • first-aid kit (pain medicine, bandaids, etc.)
  • notebook / pen
  • sunglasses
  • snack bars
  • travel adapter
  • laptop, iPad, phone, and all the corresponding chargers
  • headphones
  • cameras (digital camera, polaroid camera, go-pro)
  • nylon daypack


And, there you have it. Ten weeks of living all in one single backpack. I’m just crossing my fingers we’ve remembered pretty much everything. But, then again, whatever we forget, we can most likely buy it abroad. I hope.

Thank you again for all of your packing tips. They certainly came in handy for me, and because of you, I’ll be carrying a lot less weight on my back and will be avoiding tons of frustration. So thank you for that!

To read more about our trip, click here. We finally finished our Europe bucket list, too!

And don’t forget, if you’re interested in following along, be sure to follow on Facebook and Instagram!

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